Do The Right Thing

It’s Earth Day. One of our kitchen fluorescent tube lights burned out and we have to dispose of it. After some Googling, I found this information for California:

A fluorescent light tube in your dumpster is a violation of the hazardous waste laws. Violation of these laws can result in large fines and criminal prosecution.

Fluorescent tubes contain mercury and become hazardous wastes when they no longer work. Mercury poses especially serious hazards to pregnant women and small children. Non-working tubes must be recycled by an authorized recycling firm and cannot be discarded in the trash.

Fluorescent tubes and bulbs may be managed as universal wastes under Title 22, Chapter 23 of the California Code of Regulations. This allows those who wish to discard their fluorescent tubes and lamps to do so more easily than if they were managed as hazardous wastes.

Although spent fluorescent lights can not go into the trash, there are several options for getting them to an environmentally safe and responsible recycler.

For residential disposal, you can do the following:

Find a partner in the Take-It-Back Program and drop it off (such as Orchard Supply Hardware).

Find the local Household Hazardous Waste Facility to take fluorescent tubes
and bulbs along with other universal wastes — search Earth911 or the Department of Toxic Substances Control.

This and more information for California is in this PDF.

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One Comment on “Do The Right Thing”

  1. gerry rosser Says:

    I don’t think one of our fluorescent bulbs has gone out yet, but I need to find out where to take them when they do here in Florida.